Tackle the Blues

For an upcoming Crow’s Nest article, I recently attended the stress management discussion hosted by Dr. Anita Sahgal and Dr. Sara Leslie.

I have to be honest; I was disappointed that no students showed up. If I did not go to write an article about it, only one person would have sat through the discussion.

While jotting down notes and quotes, I learned that stress is individualized – not a new concept to me, but a refreshing one.

In times of stress, it helps to know that organization, talking out problems with friends and family and exercising are a few ideas to make the world stop – at least for a minute.

I have always been an advocate for positive de-stressing. A semester away from graduating, I have to admit that I am a veteran of good, wholesome de-stressing.

Take a look at tips and tricks suggested by experts Sahgal and Leslie in my approaching article. But for now, here are a few of my personal de-stressing tips that came in handy during my four years as a student.

1. Power naps – The point is not to fall asleep but to rest. I know it is difficult to do but get comfortable somewhere, close your eyes, focus on your breathing and nothing else. Know that it is possible to clear your mind for at least 15 or 20 minutes. I power napped many times in my car.

2. Clean. Clean. Clean. Clean something – anything. Cleaning helps to clear the mind and it gives you a sense of control. Do not clean something that is going to frustrate you more – like the blinds or the garage. Throw out the junk in your car or reorganize your closet.

3. Favorite Foods. When I am stressed I like to make my self happy by doing something I like to do. Cooking and baking my favorite foods helps me feel replenished.

4. Reassurance. I think that stress is often produced by self-consciousness or a lack in confidence. Talk to a close friend or family member who will tell you your positive characteristics. Make sure you can trust a person who will tell you the truth and not what you want to hear.

5. Let it all out. Cry, scream, run 10 miles or vent to someone you trust.

6. Pin point. Try to put a finger on what exactly is bothering you. Understanding the problem will help you to solve the issue.

7. Beach. Imagine currently living in Maine and stressing out. We live in Florida people, and it’s sunny with a high of 75 right now on Nov. 15. Go to the beach! Relax.

8. Get out of the library. I know that Nelson Poynter Library is a home away from home to most of us. But get your nose out of the books for a few moments. Taking breaks in between studying always helps me to stay focused.

9. Evaluate your relationships. Having an ongoing fight with someone? Feel jealous, angry, bitter or spiteful? Figure out how you will deal with it. Don’t let it linger because everyone else will see that dark cloud hovering over your head.

10. Set priorities. I will never forget this valuable piece of information: work now, play later. If you get in the routine of doing so, I guarantee you will feel accomplished and less stressed. Yes, easier said than done. It takes strength and motivation.

When it comes to stress, remember to assess your problems and feel good inside.

Students Reflect Presidential Picks

With the November election fast approaching, opinions vary on political issues both around nation and across campus.

Lauren Vicari, Finance Major at USF St. Petersburg plans to vote for Senator Barack Obama and calls herself a liberal. She said she is concerned with the economy and how it is “more unstable than it once was.”

Vicari believes Barack Obama will create more jobs and bring forth green technologies. “If he [Obama] hires a good team and cabinet, he will do fine,” said Vicari.

Brad Parker, an accounting major at USF St. Petersburg, said he is supporting John McCain.

“I am very happy with the choice of [Governor Sarah] Palin,” said Parker, who finds the vice presidential candidates humorously opposite from their selected running mates.

“Part of me is pushing more for McCain because I do not want Obama to be president,” Parker said.

Brian Mahoney, a USF St. Petersburg student is undecided on choosing a presidential candidate.

Like many college students, Mahoney said he is concerned about the economy and will likely vote for McCain. He said the Republican Party is “the default,” although he does not personally side with either party.

Andrew J. Wilson, graduate student at USF said he tried to look at the candidate’s policies that made the most sense. “After much deliberation and research, I have decided to vote for Barack,” he said.

“With John McCain, I saw automatic hypocrisy. The guy has all these lobbyists working for him,” Said Wilson.

R.J. Denton, a USF student pursing an education degree, is undecided. While originally supporting Obama, Denton reconsidered after McCain chose Palin as a running mate.

“I was more aligned with Obama’s policies,” Denton said. “I think he [Obama] emphasizes more change than McCain.”

Even though he likes Palin as McCain’s running mate, Denton, a registered republican, said if the election was held today he would vote for Obama.

“I’m going to vote for the best person who can lead the country,” Denton said

Activity and Service Fees to Increase Next Year

By: Kaeli Conforti

A new Bill passed by Student Government will raise student activity and service fees by 64 cents per credit hour by this time next year.

“Since the University is growing in both enrollments and services, supporting the students and programs financially has grown difficult,” said, Regional Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Kent Kelso, who presented the Bill at the Student Government meeting on September 3rd.

“The increase for next year will generate $50,000 to address core services and student organizations,” he said.

Bill 08-010, which passed unanimously, allows for the excess money to be collected and divided among the many student organizations, offices and services on the USF St. Petersburg campus.

“It was a pretty easy decision,” said senior Sherilynne Schulze, a Student Government Senator from the College of Business, who sponsored the Bill. “With Residence Hall One full, we expect a lot more participation in student life and other organizations on campus,” she said.

According to Kelso, there was an increase in activity and service fees last year of 61 cents per credit hour, an amount which brought in close to $50,000 toward campus activities. Before that, the fee had not been raised in over five years.

“[It] increases the financial resources that support student life and student programs, and activities are crucial for building a vibrant and satisfying campus life for students,” said Kelso. “These funds provide activities and services that are some of the strongest retention factors on college campuses,” he said.

Kelso told members of Student Government that once the Bill is passed, the next step will be its presentation for approval by the Campus Board during a meeting on September 12th before finally being presented to the Finance Committee of the Board of Trustees during their meeting in December.

Schulze, who has been a senator since last year, understands the need for an increase.

“We’re trying to save money, but you can’t cut back on every corner,” Schulze said.